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Tons of Bricks Lighter

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"When authoritarian forces seize control of a government, they typically move first against the public's access to information, under the theory that a confused populace can be more easily manipulated. They take aim at the radio stations, TV and newspapers. In the case of George W. Bush in 2001, he also took aim at historical records, giving himself and his family indefinite control over documents covering the 12 years of his father's terms as President and Vice President. It was, therefore, significant that one of Barack Obama's first acts as President was to revoke the Bush Family's power over that history and to replace it with an easier set of regulations for accessing the records." ~Robert Parry 1/22/09 (Consortium News)
I call it Christmas in January. Indeed. I'm sure most of us are feeling a trite less stressful (a bit lighter) after January 20th? Pinch me hard and quick, I'm as giddy as little tyke unwrapping presents under a tree. I can hardly believe this two-term misery tour is finally over. I congratulate our new President and Commander in Chief Barrack Obama and his monumental administration on their first week in office. Finally, our battered nerves can rest a little easier as we turn the page to what we hope are brighter days ahead. Indeed, I am exhaling a sigh of relief for a hopeful tomorrow in this new leadership.

For sure, the world will never forget George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Indeed, President Obama's inauguration will be remembered by most of us as the day the earth stood still.  For many, time virtually stopped the second the clock struck High Noon.  To others, it was a beautiful stillness as Barrack placed his hand on Lincoln's Bible to recite the Oath of Office (even though Roberts screwed it up). For me, the whole inauguration process was almost Hollywood surreal. It seem like a dreamy DC reality show that peaked as I watched the outgoing culprits shamefully board their helicopter and fly-off into the cold, bitter horizon. Yes I admit, just knowing they were gone -- really gone -- was an instant heartfelt relief that started to heal my soul. Whew, what a rush...
As their helicopter loomed above, a little thought crossed my mind -- if I only had a dollar for every middle finger that got extended upward as they left Capitol Hill, I could retire a rich and satisfied man. However, be as it may, I remain humble and much lighter without that ton of bricks on my aching shoulders.   Wow, it all miraculously lifted as they departed. 

Indeed, January 20, 2009 is a day that will live in infamy for all of us. Keeping it real, I truly hope those same burdensome bricks can quickly find mortar necessary to rebuild the goodness we all deserve.  We have seen politics at its absolute worst, and I believe the majority of Americans have learned a valuable lesson -- we must all stay astutely engaged in our political system that begs for progressive involvement to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
To simply say the Bush legacy will not soon be forgotten is a weak statement for intellectual fortitude.  The devastating consequences of the Bush administration's corruption will linger for a very long time, both at home and abroad.  In fact, the mere mention of the letter "W" will always make our hair rise to attention on our collective heads and fill the universal mind with painful memory.  It should.  Because one does not easily forget the hard-earned lesson of being betrayed by leaders in which they had placed their trust. 
There are hundreds of examples to remember W's eight-year tenure, but here's my top memorable 10.   I only hope historians and educators will record the last eight years accurately, so we do not repeat our mistakes...
The deepest, darkest recession plagued with financial crises and hyperinflation only comparable to the great depression of the 1930's. Indeed, our dwindling financial statements and cost increases for food, fuel, goods and services speak for themselves as we continue to get screwed over by the FED, Foreign Bankers and Treasury Department, etc...
Executive complicity for the attacks on September 11, 2001. Go ahead, take the red pill and rent, buy or download "Loose Change," Parts I, II and III videos for the real story of what happened on that fateful day that changed our lives forever. After doing so, go ahead and try to contain your gag-reflex. Good luck.
Two preemptive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a third equally bogus "War on Terror" -- all waged as an excuse to murder with impunity, to steal foreign oil and other natural resources. Yes, we destabilized the entire Middle East for this endeavor. I ask you this, do we feel safer yet?  Well, do we?
Extraordinary rendition, torture, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. All of this illegal. All inhumane and useless. Thus, we gained nothing but hatred for what we did. Plus, it put our own combat troops at extreme risk and it also dishonored our nation in one fell swoop.
NSA warrantless wiretapping, spying at home (US soldiers and all news reporters included), politics of fear, silencing of critics, and abuse of power so foul, it makes a septic tank vomit without end. See Keith Olbermann's two-part interview with Russell Tice, former analyst at the National Security Agency, for more on this important issue...breathtaking to say the least.
From Dick Cheney's secret energy task force with kickbacks aplenty, to endless no-bid contracts galore, this administration's scandals have continued unabated time and again without a hint of remorse or shame. In fact, they still continue to profit to this day.
Total disregard of science, stem-cell research and other medical breakthroughs not yet realized, but could have. Bottom line, our health and well being was/is put at risk and many people continue to unnecessarily suffer and die as a result of this. Sadly, most of this health-related suppression was done for political reasons.
A constitutional shred-fest using shark like teeth.  Indeed, equality of life, human rights, workers rights have all diminished, and consumer protections have not only been downsized; most have disappeared altogether.  There is no longer even a semblance of a security net for children, the elderly, or those most vulnerable among us.   
A willful environmental destruction of the planet, WMD used by us and sold to others. All perpetrated with scorched-earth policy in mind. See George Carlin's (God rest his soul) mother nature does a flea-dog-shake to get abusive man off the planet. A great stand-up comedy skit with a real powerful message point.
And who could ever forget the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort fiasco by FEMA?   Yeah, Dubya filled the management position with an incompetent jerk who put all Americans at risk everywhere. Not just the Gulf Coast. Once again, do we feel safe yet? Or perhaps I should ask, does your house, condo or apartment have floaters installed yet?  Wow...
As I said before, these are hundreds of mistakes that continue to affect all of us. I'm equally sure the highlights are fresh in mind too. That is why, for now, I prefer to concentrate on the future. Yes, I look forward to watching President Obama work his magic with an optimistic wish and prayer for greatness. God knows, he certainly has his job cut out for him!  Following behind Bush is proving to be no easy task. He definitely inherited the biggest mess this nation has ever seen. I welcome his wise leadership in this challenging time.  And...I am grateful to have him grace the helm to fix our nation's reputation, economy and humanity. 

The 21st century, once so full of shining promise, now threatens to force countless millions of us at home and abroad into a dark abyss of languishing poverty and silent servitude; a lowly prodigy of painful struggle and suffering that could stream for generations to come. I’m wishing for a miracle with Obama's new leadership and our involvement, before it is too late, the masses will figure it out and will stand as one and roar. So, pass the word -- it’s past time to take back what is ours -- the American Dream where the pursuit of happiness, the ability to live in a free and peaceful nation is a reality. We bought it, and we paid for it. It’s time to take it back. 

For the first time in years among the many hardships we face, I truly feel better for what the future may bring. I say -- God speed and good luck to President Obama.

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Vincent L. Guarisco is a freelance writer from Washington State, a frustrated Facebook user, and a founding member of the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans. IAAV with AAV here in the U.S..

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